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michaels cusack -- michael scuza. sgt joshua kirk. sergeant christopher griffin. staff sergeant justin gallegos. staff sgt vernon martin. sgt joshua heart. and a specialist steffan mace. each of these patriots gave their lives looking out for each other in a battle that raged all day. that brand of selflessness was displayed again and again and again. soldiers exposing themselves to enemy fire to pull a comrade to safety. tending to each other's loans, -- wounds, performing transfusions, giving each other their own blood. if you seek a measure that day, you need to look no further than the ribbons and medals that grace their chests. for their sustained terrorism,37 army commendation medals. -- for their sustained heroism, , 37 army commendation medals. for their valor, 18 bronze stars. before their gallantry, nine silver stars. these men were outnumbered, outgunned, and almost overrun. looking back, one of them said, i'm surprised that we made it out. but here they are today. and this -- i ask this band of brothers to stand and except the gratitude of our entire nation. -- accept the
sgt vernon martin. sergeant gesten dagos. sgt joshua heart. sergeant -- what curt. sergeant michael cusack. specialists stephen manes. and pse kevin thompson. we ask your blessing on all of our servicemen and women and at home and abroad to support and defend our constitution. grant them guidance. we ask this in your holy name. amen. >> please, be seated, everybody. good afternoon. on behalf of mashal and myself, welcome to the white house. every day at the white house we received thousands of letters from folks all across america and at night upstairs in my study i read a few. about three years ago i received a letter from imam in west virginia. -- from a mom in west virginia. her son, just 21 years old, had given his life in afghanistan. she had received the condolence letter that i sent to her family, as i send to every family of the fallen. and she wrote me back. mr. president, she said, you wrote me a letter telling me that my son was a hero. i just wanted you to know what kind of hero he was. my son was a great soldier, she wrote. as far back as i can remember, steffan wanted
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